Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Is It Normal to Have a Bad Headache During Pregnancy

Is It Normal to Have a Bad Headache During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a literal headache. (Maybe that's just nature's way of preparing you for being a teenage mother.) Alas, as with headaches becoming more and more frequent for many pregnant women, it's best to avoid common treatment options, such as most over-the-counter and prescription medications.

But that doesn't mean you should ignore headaches, especially if you have regular tension headaches or migraines, or if the pain is interfering with your sleep or appetite. From adjusting your diet to managing your stress, there are other tactics that can relieve headaches when you anticipate them.

To get help with your dull throbbing pain, take a look at the different types of headaches you may experience, common symptoms and treatments. We are here for a pain-free pregnancy!

What are the Different Types of Headaches?

The headaches you experience during pregnancy are the same as those you may get at any other time, so it's worth learning about the most common types. Here's a short primer to help you figure out what kind of headache you have.

Tension headaches: You may have a tension headache that feels like a mild to moderate dull ache if you're stressed, hungry, or have neck or shoulder pain. One of the most common types.

Migraine: With a migraine, you can expect moderate to severe pain that throbs and lasts for hours or days. Some women with migraines also experience blurred vision, flashing lights, numbness, and nausea.

Sinus Headaches: Pressure and nasal congestion around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead can be a sign of a sinus headache. They commonly occur with sinus infections, but are also commonly confused with migraines. In either case, the pain may be worse when you bend forward or lie down.

Cluster headaches: These headaches, as they sound, are headaches that start and get worse and last for more than a few days. The burning pain is usually concentrated in one eye or affects one side of the head. The good news: Cluster headaches are rare, especially in women compared to men.

Chronic headaches: Headaches for more than half of a given month may be considered chronic. This includes migraines and other headache types. "Chronic" refers to the frequency of occurrence.

What Causes Headaches During Pregnancy?

In addition to hormonal changes, there are many triggers that commonly cause headaches, but they may occur more often during pregnancy, such as:

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Caffeine withdrawal, such as coffee, tea, or cola drinks
  • Low blood sugar not eating regularly
  • Dehydration
  • Feeling stressed, anxious or depressed
  • Eye strain — especially when eye muscles relax during pregnancy
  • Many of these triggers can cause very common tension headaches. The pain is usually mild and is on both sides of the head.

Some of these triggers can cause migraine headaches, which are more severe and mostly occur on one side of the head. If you have a migraine, you may feel nauseous or vomit and may be sensitive to light or sound.

What are symptoms of headaches during pregnancy?

If you’ve had an aching head or migraine before you conceived, you probably know what a bad headache feels like. But it’s still a good idea to be on the lookout for the common symptoms of headaches during pregnancy.

What can I do to prevent headaches during pregnancy?

If you find you are getting mild headaches often, it’s a good idea to:

  • getting more sleep
  • drink at least 8 cups of water a day
  • go to pregnancy yoga classes or do some other type of exercise
  • learn relaxation or stress management techniques
  • don't go more than 4 hours without eating
  • avoid processed foods
  • see an optometrist for an eye check

What can I do if I suffer from migraines during pregnancy?

If you suffer from migraines, try to avoid things that may trigger migraines for you. People have different triggers for migraines, so it’s important to learn what your personal triggers are. Keep a headache diary, and see if your triggers include:

  • specific foods such as chocolate, or food additives such as caffeine or MSG
  • bright or flickering lights, strong smells and loud sounds
  • not enough sleep, or too much sleep
  • skipping meals
  • computer or movie screens
  • strenuous exercise
  • emotional triggers such as arguments or stress

Check with your doctor, pharmacist or midwife before you take a medicine for your migraine, to make sure it’s safe during pregnancy.

When should I see a doctor?

See your doctor or midwife if you have symptoms of pre-eclampsia, including:

  • a headache that doesn’t get better with paracetamol
  • severe pain below your ribs
  • heartburn that doesn’t disappear after taking antacids
  • sudden swelling in your face, hands or feet
  • blurred vision

Headaches can sometimes be a sign of other serious health conditions. Contact your doctor straightaway if you have:

  • a sudden severe headache
  • a change in your usual headaches
  • your first-ever migraine
  • a headache together with fever, neck stiffness, sensitivity of your eyes to light, drowsiness or weakness of your arm or leg
  • a recent head injury 

Outlook for Headaches During Pregnancy
Headaches during pregnancy are common. Tension headaches may occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. This can happen because we are going through a lot of changes in a short period of time.

Headache pain can occur in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters for other reasons. Some causes of headaches that occur during the 2nd to 3rd trimester can be serious.

High blood pressure is a serious cause of headaches during pregnancy. You can have high blood pressure at any time during pregnancy. You may have no symptoms at all. Check your blood pressure at least once a day on a home monitor.

Tell your doctor if you have headaches at any time during pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you have a personal or family history of migraines, high blood pressure, seizures, or diabetes.

Take all medications and treatments exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all diet and exercise advice carefully. See your doctor for all follow-up and regular checkups. Most causes of headaches during pregnancy can be treated or prevented with the right treatment.

Post a Comment for "Is It Normal to Have a Bad Headache During Pregnancy"